It was yet again another week of awesome games in the conference. Is the picture any clearer after the third week of Big South action?
1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (14-4, 5-1, LW 1): The Chants split the week with a gritty win at Campbell and a loss at home to Gardner-Webb but still stay at number one. The one weakness I've been harping on for Cliff Ellis' squad this season is when they match up with quality back-to-the-basket big men. Coastal struggled with Lotanna Nwogbo of Longwood last week and then Jerome Hill took them 31 points and 10 rebounds. A big Thursday night match up awaits Coastal at UNC Asheville before heading home to take on in-state rival Presbyterian.
2. High Point Panthers (13-4, 4-1, LW 4): High Point has won four straight after losing the conference opener to Coastal. Adam Weary has really been the difference maker for Scott Cherry as he's been a primary second option next to John Brown averaging 14.6 points per game since conference play began. The Panthers will have a busy week with three games on their slate against Longwood, Radford, and UNC Asheville.
3. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (12-7, 4-2, LW 3): It was an up and down week for the Bulldogs losing to High Point and then knocking off Coastal Carolina. The surprising thing about the win at Coastal is that Tyrell Nelson wasn't even much of a factor. Tim Craft's frontcourt should be able to dominate a shorthanded Longwood squad before heading to Charleston Southern this weekend.
4. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (8-8, 4-1, LW 2): Asheville was yet another team that split this week as they won on the road at Campbell after being beat down by Winthrop earlier in the week. UNCA will embark on a stretch of three of four on the road, where will the Bulldogs stand after that stretch. Andrew Rowsey is back to scoring more but he's just 17-for-50 in his last three games. UNCA might be lost right now if David Robertson didn't seriously step up in conference play. This team is the biggest wild card in the conference right now.
5. Radford Highlanders (12-7, 3-3, LW 8): Remember when Radford was 0-3? They've rattled off three straight wins including tow big road wins this past week. The Highlanders now get to enjoy the comforts of home with match ups against High Point and Liberty this week. The most impressive part of Radford's succes is that their average margin of victory is nearly 14 points during this winning streak.
6. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (10-7, 4-2, LW 6): The Bucs made the most of a particular soft portion of their schedule and now have a rare three game homestand. The good news is that CSU is at home, the bad news is it's against Asheville, Gardner-Webb, and Radford. We'll quickly learn how good Saah Nimley and the Bucs are.
7. Winthrop Eagles (8-9, 3-3, LW 5): Up and down goes the Eagles season. Winthrop has yet to put together back-to-back wins in conference play. Pat Kelsey's squad has a great opportunity this week though with a trip to Liberty before hosting Campbell in Rock Hill.
8. Presbyterian Blue Hose (6-13, 2-4, LW 10): Presbyterian took advantage of a shellshocked Longwood team for a big road win before losing to Charleston Southern over the weekend. Freshman DeSean Murray looks like the real deal averaging 17.1 points per game in just seven appearances this year. Campbell and Coastal await this week, can the Blue Hose get win number three?
9. Longwood Lancers (6-13, 2-4, LW 7): The Lancers got really bad news when they found out big man Lotanna Nwogbo will be out 4 to 6 weeks after thumb surgery Friday. With Nwogbo the Lancers could challenge anyone in the conference, without him they are a shell of themselves. Jayson Gee's super thin frontcourt will be challenged mightily this week against High Point and Gardner-Webb.
10. Campbell Fighting Camels (7-12, 1-5, LW 9): It was a week of opportunity for the Camels with tree home games but they went 0-3 and have now dropped 5 straight. Now the Camels will need to get things done on the road.
11. Liberty Flames (6-13, 0-6, LW 11): The Flames are just bad and you have to think that Dale Layer is seriously planning a move to Blacksburg to sit on Buzz Williams' bench again.